A little summer shake

31/05/2014

7 comments
mason jar


I think being from the southern hemisphere eating el'fresco in the sun is built into my DNA, it seems only natural as soon as the sun starts to shine to unpack the garden chairs and enjoy a relaxed meal in the cool evening breeze. We have been lucky enough to have had a few pleasant evenings already this year and we have jumped at every single one as most Brits ( and expat in my case) know that they can be few and far between, however this shouldn't damped the fun whatsoever.


outdoor toddler


I always like to prepare something fresh, lots of salad and lots of colour and big on flavour. I was recently sent a OXO Shake and Flavour starter pack which included 7 different seasonings which are all MSG free (a must for us) and I was very eager to try them out. Our house is a bit of a mix, I'm a veggie although John is not and Mr A is somewhat undecided so I cater for everyone as I am a true believer in respecting everyones personal choices, luckily John does do his little bit by ordering the high welfare meat from Able and Cole. He was keen to try out the Southern Chicken flavour on his chicken breast and there was thumbs up all round, especially as it didn't add any extra time to cooking the meal but did add a lot of depth.


el fresco

eating el fresco


I decided to go with some roasted veggies with Italian herb seasoning and a roasted portobello mushroom topped with goats cheese - so good and the added seasoning made it that bit more interesting and was so quick and easy to use, literally just sprinkled it over the veggies before popping them in the oven. The little man really enjoyed the homemade potato wedges with a very light dusting of Garlic and herb seasoning. All of this went down well with some sparkling apple juice and ice, the perfect way to cool yourself down on a warm day


portobello mushroom and goats cheese
Roasted veggies with portobellos mushroom topped with goats cheese 


I have to admit I use very simply ingredients and try let the natural flavours show through although it is nice every now and then to add that little something to transform it and add to the overall dish, and I can see myself using them in future meals over the summer.


pretty colours


This post is part of a BritMums project with OXO Shake & Flavour. Shake & Flavour seasoning granules can be sprinkled into food during cooking or before serving. Find out more about the Shake & Flavour varieties here


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Beautiful Bathroom Beautiful Skin

29/05/2014

9 comments

roll top both
One day I will have a roll top bath (image)


I am sure there must be a connecting between a beautiful bathroom and beautiful skin, it's a but like a messy house means a messy mind, so a simple and stylish bathroom with perfectly organised storage space and beauty products would mean you would be more on top of your beauty regime. I know personally when I have things organised and within arms reach I tend to use things more, wether this means having my toner one hand or nail varnish I am more likely to make the effort.


stylish shower
Nothing better than simple and clean design (image)

I also find having a simple and stylish bathroom a better place to relax and it's somewhere that can you can transform into your own little retreat, which can be rare when you have kids. The bathroom can be a really inspirational place but can become easily cluttered so it's important to keep on top of things, especially beauty products, make sure you detox your bathroom every now and than and get rid of any empty bottles, as well as investing in some good storage boxes that fit the style of your bathroom.

beautiful bath storage
Such a beautiful way to store and present soap (image)

With everything in my life I try to keep things simple and they same goes with my daily beauty routine, being a mother I don't have time for anything but the necessities and in a way I think that is good because it keeps my skin clog free and I try to always use organic products that are good for my skin.

My simple skin routine

Wash my skin with natural based soap
Use organic Rosewater toner
Uplifting eye cream
Light and oil free moisturiser
Lastly some light foundation

I find this works for me. I have time I might treat myself to a colourful nail polish, although this is usually when I am going out in the evening as most days the little man and I are on some outdoor adventure and my hands get dirty so I don't usually bother.

I think it's important to have products you can rely on and work for your skin type. If you have any issues with your skin such as rosacea or unwanted hair it may be better to look for other ways to treat the issue especially if it causes any self-esteem issues as I feel that it's important to be comfortable in your own skin. The Sk:n clinic offer some amazing solutions to common skin problems and it's well worth having a look if there is anything causing you concern and they also offer laser hair removal which takes all the street out of summer and looking beach confident. As I said the bathroom is a place to relax, pamper yourself and enjoy your own space.

pedicure
I love to use bright colours on my nails (when I have time that is)


This post contains a supported link but words and opinions are 100% our own
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Menswear Essentials - Soft Coats

4 comments

menswear fashion

It's that time of the year when we it's not quite warm enough to go out without a jacket on hand but equally to warm for thicker coats, so now is the perfect time for the men to bring out the soft sartorial coats, like Johns Post Overalls jacket above. Soft jacket and coats are a great way to bridge the gap between more formal attire and the casual jumper and not only help with a little bit extra warmth before the summer evenings hit but also help bring and outfit together and can be worn during the day  spent in the city of on a family adventure or on a night out, by simply dressing it up with a tie for a more sophisticated evening look. 


hipster dad


It's also great for light layering as the weather becomes warmer and creates a casual but softly tailored style and can really help bring an outfit together. Popular fabrics are cotton and linen and  John has a few soft style coats and jackets all of which become useful during this time of the year. Make sure you go with a classic style and something that is durable and well made, as we always say on the blog, less is always more.


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HomeSense Giveaway

28/05/2014

255 comments
Bedroom interior

I am so happy to be able to offer another amazing giveaway to one of our readers and this time it's all about the home. As some of you may know I have been working in partnership with HomeSense as well as my column on Huffington Post Home and they have been kind enough to provide one lucky reader with a £100 HomeSense Gift Card to spend in store and believe me you can get a lot for £100 as the stores are like magical treasure troves of amazing home and interior products at up to 60% the normal retail price without losing any of the quality. It's super easy to enter and the competition ends on the 10th June

HomeSense





a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Chic style at The Dominican Hotel, Brussels

27/05/2014

16 comments

Dominican hotel Brussels


On our recent trip to Brussels we stayed at the very stylish and chic The Dominican, a 4-star hotel right in the heart of the city. The hotel stands on what was the Dominican Abbey in the 15th century and building really is a feast for the eye which high ceilings and intricate details. As soon as you step through the front door you are welcomed by a luxurious reception area and informative and friendly staff.

Beautiful hotel interior


After we checked in we made our way to our room, which was located near the gym in a very quite part of the hotel.  We stayed in a Delux room which was really nice and spacious, with lots of room to store our bags, a very large and super comfortable super king bed, complimentary wifi, a mini bar and Nespresso maker and luxurious fabrics and colour scheme really made the experience special. The bathroom had a rain shower and very deep bath with the little man loved.


The Dominican hotel


The breakfast was a real treat and was place in the opulent restaurant. There was so much choice including pancakes and waffles, again another bit hit with both John and Mr A. As well as an array of cold meats, freshly baked breads and even champagne should you feel like having bubbly for breakfast. On both mornings I went for greek yogurt and granola with some muesli bread and poached eggs.


hotel breakfast

Belgium waffles


So how child friendly is it? We it's a very up market hotel so perhaps not best for very young babies but from toddler age on it's perfect, although you do need to book a family room as children cannot stay in the same bed as you due to health and safety and you need to pay for an extra bed or book a family room. The staff were friendly and helpful with Mr A and there were lots of choices at breakfast. The hotel is also situated on a a large pedestrian only road which is perfect for when you have toddlers who love to run.


Brussels hotel


This place would be equally good for those travelling without kids as they have a very stylish cocktail bar as well as a Spa which is perfect for relaxing. I would highly recommend The Dominican when in Brussels as you really feel like your on holiday and it's a real treat to stay here.





Travel Tuesday

The Dominican kindly gave us a reduced rate in exchange for an honest review 
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Fashionable Drivers: All You Need to Know to drive in style

26/05/2014

6 comments
youth
Me looking rather tanned after spending a summer in Cornwall

How exactly does one become a fashionable driver? Do you think you automatically become one after buying a fast, expensive car? Do you have to match your bags and suitcases with your customised leather seats? Or do you have to be a great driver who knows all the latest motoring trends?

It is truly an improvement for the world to have replaced the term ‘geek drivers’ with fashionable drivers. I guess geek drivers did not make enough of an impression previously to become the envy of the road, but the term fashionable drivers is now making waves in and around the industry. These F1 drivers sure know how to match their driving skills with their sense of style. You won’t ever be able to emulate a professional race driver in the cool stakes, but you can become a fashionable driver in your own right. Here are a few suggestions as to how to become the envy of the road.

road trip


Know the road and follow the rules

You might get the attention of most people by sporting the coolest car in town but that high rating could instantly drop if you can’t stop breaking road rules. Know the road rules by heart and practice them in real life – practicing your knowledge on Top Tests is a great way to stay informed.


Get a good-looking road machine

By this, we do not in any way mean that you go and get a monster car and play mean games. What we do mean is to go and do your research on the best-looking vehicles regardless of model. In fact, vintage but perfectly working vehicles now pose more appeal. This is most effective if you are the only one in town sporting that vehicle while everyone else is driving the latest model of some sports car.


vintage mini
Me and my Mini a few years ago


Have customised seats

Just because you already have the latest model does not necessarily mean you are already a fashionable driver. You might be surprised of how many people are driving the same car as yours. So, how do you suppose can you stand out amongst them? Check out the designs of the famous Oleg Cassini in the 1970s, Gucci, and Versace. If you are more of the modern and rugged kind of person, check out Levi’s or Nautica.

Opt for useful gadgets

There is a sudden increase in the availability of modern in-car technology lately that might get you spending more than you plan to. Our tip here is to choose the ones that are truly helpful and fits your way of driving and lifestyle. Choosing all of them just to show the world that you are cool is not so cool especially when people starts to notice that you have no inkling of how those things work!


Vintage cars
Enjoying the Morris Minor show last year

Play your role

Your choice of vehicle somehow depicts your personality and lifestyle. Do not be scared of today’s society or what people may say. It is and will always be about you. If you want to be a fashionable driver, you have to stand beside your beliefs and preferences no matter how odd or out of the ordinary it is.

Just remember – as well as looking good on the road, be safe on it too. There’s nothing more fashionable than being a careful and considerate motorist.


This post contains a sponsored link but opinions are 100% our own
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The Camouflage Company and Giveaway

200 comments
Stylish interior

I think now more than ever I appreciate well designed storage ideas, especially after amounting so many children's toys and bits and bobs so finding something that are practical but also chic and stylish is quite a hard combination to come across so when I was asked to do a review for The Camouflage Company I was really intrigued by their unique storage  bags, boxes, totes and everything in-between to help keep your house clean, tidy and looking good.

Storage ideas

I was sent the Zipped Carry all with a floral print on it. It's large enough to store all of Mr A's toys and is very strong and durable but other key points are that it's totally wipeable for those accidental spills, squeezes into tight corners and folds down when your not using it. It has a large mess window  on one side so you can see whats inside, which is good because I often forget what I put inside boxes. I have had a few people complement me on it recently which is fantastic as it really means its fitting the purpose of being useful but pleasing to the eye. 


Stylish storage bag


The best thing is that the lovely ladies at The Camouflage Company, London have offered three of my lovely readers the chance to also win a Zipped Carry All in Mosaic floral print worth £25. It's super easy to enter and is open to the UK and Europe


The Camouflage company



a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Muddy Adventures and simple pleasures

13 comments
outdoor fun

I actually had another post planned for our weekly country kids inspired post but as we had so much fun today on our little muddy (and at times rainy) adventure I wanted to share it with you now. There is nothing better than a long walk with the little man, this one took us over 3 hours and I didn't pick him up once - a new record for us. We started out in Bute Park - a lovely large green space in the centre of Cardiff and walked through to Blackweir and across to Pontcanna park, on cycle tracks, muddy parks, through woodland and alongside the River Taff it provided us with lots of different things to explore.

natural childhood

rope walking

outdoor adventure



We saw a woodpecker hopping from tree to tree, which was very exciting. We spent a lot of time watching the water flow over the weir, as well as picking up random sticks along the way. Mr A also came across a worm, which he was very concerned for and had was in deep conversation with for about 15 mins (see image below)

lovely moment

It was a great way to spend a sunday and packed with waterproofs and umbrellas it really didn't matter it rained half the time, we had a lot of simple and natural family fun.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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Street Style Sunday Link-up

25/05/2014

8 comments

stylish outfit



So I am very excited to be co-hosting the lovely Street Style Sunday linky with the lovely Style Me Sunday blog, I was lucky enough to meet the lovely ladies who run the blog last year at The Mads Awards and I am constantly inspired but their amazing fashionable picks for ladies and kids so I was really over the moon to be invited to co-host with them this weekend.


cute outfit


The link-up was perfectly timed for me as this week I picked up this lovely little maroon skirt in a sale in H&M (total bargain) and it's a great little transitional piece as we go from spring into summer. I have paired it up with my little scotty dog jumper from M&S, boots from TopShop and a Paul Costelloe bag and as well as my very old and well travelled necklace my mother gave to me a few years back. The great thing about the link is you can link up what your children have been rocking, for Mr A this week it's been all about being a dinosaur - I say why not


dinosaur outfit



Get involved and link up with us this week, you can link an adult's outfit post or a kid's one. I will comment on everyone who links up and you'll get some other comments from other people who links up too.


The Rules -

1. Add the link to a specific outfit post, not your main blog page.
2. Grab a button and add it to your post (our text link is also fine).
3. Comment on this post and at least one other post...the whole point is to visit each other.

Link up your own street style posts and we'll share our favourite ones next week, with a link to your blog. 


Instagram: If you'd like to get involved on instagram tag us in your pic with #streetstylesunday in the comments. 





Click 'add your link' below to upload your street style blog
SSS



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Breakfast treats for Yogurt week

8 comments
blackboard writing

I love yogurt, always have and I love how versatile it is, you can bake with it, cook savoury dishes,  spoon it over fruit and oats or have a bowl of greek yogurt with a dollop of honey for dessert and for those who don't know it's Yogurt Week, so I thought I would celebrate with creating two lovely breakfast treats.

My first port of call when it comes to a lazy sunday morning brunch is pancakes and pancakes crammed with yogurt goodness is even better and alongside some scrambled eggs and a dash of maple syrup it screams weekend to me.

yogurt pancakes

Easy Yogurt Pancakes

140g Greek Yogurt
1 large egg
1/2 a cup of Plain flour (I often do a 50/50 wholegrain and plain)
1 tsp baking powder
Optional - 1/2 cup of blueberries

1. Mix the yogurt and egg in a bowl until smooth then add the flour
and baking powder until all mixed in. The batter will be thick

2. Preheat a frying pan to a medium heat, spay with non--stick spray or add a little bit
of oil. Spoon the batter into the pan, each in fairly even circles

3. If you want at this point you can add some blueberries to each scoop

4. Cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, than flip and cook the other side until done.

Peanut and Banana mini Muffins

Another little something I put together really is more of a treat than a breakfast alternative but it does offer some nutritious goodness from the banana, peanut butter and yogurt. It went down very well with the little man who kept asking for more.

banana and peanut butter muffins

100g Plain flour ( I used a 50/50 mix of wholegrain spelt and plain flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp sugar (or alternative of choice, I like Argave)
2 x eggs
120g natural set yogurt
100g mashed banana
50g crunchy peanut butter
25 chopped dark chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4

2. Line muffin tin

3. Shift together the flour, baking powder and sugar and set aside

4. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, yogurt, peanut butter and banana and chocolate

5. Fold in the wet ingredients with the dry, be careful not to over mix

6. Spoon into the cases and bake for 25-30 min, until risen

7. Cool on rack and best eaten on the day

toddler kitchen fun

Do you have any favourite breakfast treats of yogurt inspired recipes?


The Yogurt Council was kind enough to send us everything we needed to make our delicious recipes.

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Small office space inspiration

24/05/2014

2 comments
beautiful office
I love this simple and beautiful office space (image)


 So as I am writing this I am trying to sort out my new little office space, it's a pretty small and awkward space, like our bathroom it's in the eves of the house so standing head space is a little limited but in any event I am very excited to turn this little box room into a creative and inspiring hub within our home and I cannot wait to share it's transformation with you but for now I am putting together a little mood board for myself with some ideas on how to use a small space with some great organisation and storage ideas.



quirky office space
I love the retro feel and colours in this office space (image)


I really like the idea of putting book shelves along the part of the room that is slanted and limited for headspace and will make us of an otherwise awkward space. I have a desk that has been passed onto me from my mother who no longer needs it, it's not very pretty but with a bit of paint I'm sure I can put some life back into it.


attic workspace
I love the bookshelves (image)



I know personally I will feel much better once this space is done as I hate working in the living room, I like to try and separate my work life from my family one and it's going to be great to have space away from the rest of the house, even if it is a very small space.


DIY office space
I love the painted chair and hanging plant (image)

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The evolution of Iconic Vegas fashion

4 comments

Las Vegas style
Elizabeth Taylor looking gorgeous in Vegas


Visiting Las Vegas continues to be ever popular with people of all ages and of course with the recent films like The Hangover, more and more stag do's looking for a big night out head to this city in the desert. It provides endless hours of entertainment and enjoyment for millions of people across the world. John in fact went to Las Vegas a few years back and often recollects the times he had there with his friends just before Mr A came along. He could not get over how the city never slept, it was 24 hours all the time, it was never too late to order a breakfast or never to early to see a show or have a go at roulette.


Las Vegas fashion


Fashion and dress wear considerably changed over the years, with luxurious interiors enforcing a stricter dress code that is far removed from the days of wearing long sleeved denim shirts and baseball hats. Las Vegas saw an influx in celebrities and actors during the fifties and sixties which really brought and element of style and magic and some fashion trends were born during that time. While the traditional casino wear remains iconic through famous box office hits which encourage people to follow in the footsteps of their favorite actors.

Las Vegas fashion


Traditional versus modern wear

While Las Vegas casino-going enthusiasts can start by just observing the array of games at their disposal, they now also have an element of choice as to the dress wear and items of clothing they choose for the occasion. Tuxedos and dresses have been the norm for many years, with men and women enjoying the feeling of dressing up to the nines to look smart in appearance and feel sophisticated. The high quality of clothing was synonymous with the reputation established by high-end venues which provided those who were wealthy with the perfect setting to socialise, relax and have fun.




A change in attitude across numerous venues has allow modern day fashion to become a common feature, although most still require guests to present themselves in an orderly manner. Las Vegas fashion has made a transition from the tuxedo to modern day clothing for two fundamental reasons – to welcome everyone in a more relaxed manner, but that doesn't mean you can't still dress up.


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